By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12
Addis Abeba, November 11/2021- Ambassador Dina Mufti, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) among many other issues discussed the detainment of local UN staff in Addis Abeba as well as the recent visit of African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo.
At the biweekly press briefing held this morning, the Ambassador answered questions whether or not the detention of local UN staff has to do with ethnic profiling to which he responded by saying, ” The staff were arrested due to their infringement of the proclamation of the state of emergency that was enacted recently,” he continued, “We did not detain them because they were UN employees nor did we arrest them based on their ethnic background. Anyone who fails to abide by the law of the country shall be held accountable and will be brought to justice, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sex.”
Ambassador Dina talked about the recent visit of AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, the conflict in northern Ethiopia, the federal government’s efforts towards peace and the overall current situation in the country. Addis Standard asked the Ambassador if Olusengun Obasanjo’s recent visits and talks with parties will help the federal government and TPLF to come to negotiation. He replied by explaining how much the federal government appreciates Obasanjo’s efforts.
“For the federal government to sit for negotiation, there are certain preconditions that need to be met. The government will disclose if it is ready to sit for negotiation.”
Ambassador Dina Mufti
“Obasanjo’s effort is an African-led initiative that the Ethiopian government highly acknowledges. His effort is still in a fact-checking process,” he added, “The current war was imposed unwillingly on the federal government and Ethiopia by TPLF. It was the who TPFL opted for war. The government doesn’t condone war. It has always wanted peace to prevail. For the federal government to sit for negotiation, there are certain preconditions that need to be met. The government will disclose if it is ready to sit for negotiation. We strongly believe that war isn’t the solution.”
Explaining what efforts the federal government made to address the statements by some embassies based in Addis Abeba who warned their citizens to evacuate, Ambassador Dina stated that such statements could be seen in two ways: some western media might have disseminated such information in order to portray Ethiopia as being in ‘chaos.’ “Some reported that TPLF is marching on the capital city which is totally wrong given TPLF does not have the capacity to pose a threat of this magnitude.”
“Some reported that TPLF is marching on the capital city which is totally wrong given TPLF does not have the capacity to pose a threat of this magnitude.”
Ambassador Dina Mufti
The ambassador argued, “Some embassies made such announcements because they are not fully aware of the situation on the ground for which we gave enough explanations and they have understood it now.” He further stated that TPLF has not fully controlled any single town or city. “TPLF has been using children and women as cannon fodders which resulted in prolonged time for the military to target TPLF combatants.”
Ambassador Dina concluded the briefing by stating that diplomatic efforts were underway to maintain healthy relationships with the USA and other countries. “The federal government will always prioritize peace over war,” Dina said. AS